NHS seeking volunteers in North Somerset to help vulnerable during pandemic
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More than 400,000 people have signed up as volunteers for the NHS to help people with underlying health conditions who have been told to self-isolate.
The NHS put out an appeal for 250,000 volunteers and more than 405,724 people signed up.
NHS volunteer responders will be asked to take on tasks such as delivering medicines from pharmacies, driving patients to appointments and bringing them home from hospital or making regular phone calls to check on people who are self-isolating.
The service is not intended to replace local groups helping their vulnerable neighbours but is an additional service provided by the NHS.
GPs, doctors, pharmacists, nurses, midwives, NHS 111 advisers and social care staff will all be able to request help for their at-risk patients via a call centre run by the Royal Voluntary Service (RVS), who will match people who need help with volunteers who live near to them.
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Some charities will also be able to refer people to the service.
GP and NHS Director of Primary Care, Dr Nikki Kanani said: “Coronavirus is the biggest challenge we have ever faced, which is why we’re rallying the troops and telling the public: your NHS needs you.
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“Across the country people are playing their part in the fight against the virus by staying home for the next 12 weeks, to protect themselves, others and the NHS.
“But many of those shielding will need our support to do that, and by signing up to be an NHS Volunteer Responder, people who are well can do their bit too.
“This is one of those once-in-a-lifetime moments where a single action from one person can be the difference between life and death for another, and simple acts of kindness are going to make all the difference in keeping some of the most vulnerable people well and out of hospital.
“NHS staff are pulling out all the stops to ensure those who need care receive it, and creating a bank of helpers that they can call upon to support their most vulnerable patients through this difficult time is going to be invaluable, so I would urge anyone who can to sign up as an NHS Volunteer Responder today.”
The volunteers will start roles from next week and help the 1.5 million who have been asked to shield themselves from coronavirus.
The NHS is now extending its target to recruit 750,000 people to its army of volunteers.
To volunteer, visit www.goodsamapp.org/NHS